José Goulão, in O Lado Oculto
NATO: SEVEN DECADES OF LIES, WAR AND BLOOD
To mark the significance of NATO’s 70th anniversary perhaps it would be enough to look at the 18-year war that devastates Afghanistan, or the chaos in which Libya remains plunged, or the violations of international law sponsored by the organization in the Balkans, notably the terrifying dismemberment of Yugoslavia.
Maybe that would be enough … But we would be far from doing justice to the breadth and longevity of an increasingly global and essentially gangster behavior such as that which characterizes the alliance. The flood of epic considerations around the myths that support it is so threatening nowadays that no opportunities will be never be enough to plumb the contradiction. It is not surprising that NATO is what it is.
What may cause some perplexity, especially between those who are a little more familiar with the international reality and those who go beyond mainstream information, is the disdain with which highly-positioned leaders in nations and in the world try to interconnect their beautiful speeches about the alliance with its bloody practices. Either they believe in their own lies or they rely too much on the propaganda and the consequent alienation of ordinary citizens.
NATO was born in the midst of lies and propagandist myths as prevalent today as they were 70 years ago, although they were easily dismantled.
But the organization’s servants have faith in the effect of repetition and the reverential media universe. NATO was not born to respond to any contrary action, since the Treaty of Warsaw was only founded four years later. Nor did it come to defend democracy, because it insisted on integrating a fascist dictatorship – the Portuguese one – at its birth, adopting others over time, as was the case with the Greek and the Turkish ones.
The “defensive alliance”
But the founding myth that has been most refined with time and practice is that of the “defensive alliance,” a kind of cult of hagiography on a rather virile scale: NATO never attacks; always defends itself against any enemy, which it tries to invent when it does not exist. When it installs armaments, and more and more exterminators, it is only to defend itself; when it moves its military assets across Europe to the Russian borders, or in Africa, or now in Latin America, it is in self-defense. The best defense is the attack, it is argued in terms of football tactics. NATO has adopted it or vice versa, it is a question similar to that of the egg and the chicken. What matters is to know that NATO never attacks, it defends itself.
This was during the cold war, for example, by using clandestine terrorist organizations such as Gladius, spreading blood, horror and fear through successive attacks in Italy to prevent Communists from accessing the sphere of power, even when the people wanted it in legitimate and free elections.
Or do not hesitate to conspire to promote coups d’état and regime changes, both inside and outside the cold war, as happened in Portugal, Greece, Turkey and more recently in Ukraine – not to mention, in this case too, that the result is a the Nazi-fascist regime. Always in the name of democracy and the market, the entity that moves the democratic strings and knows what is best for citizens, even if they want the opposite.
NATO and respect for the word itself
NATO has a complicated relationship with its own term. This is what happens to those who live on the propaganda and do not have the courage to present before the people the real motivations of their mission. NATO sketches its virtual reality on maps and the messages it conveys to citizens; and then proceeds accordingly but in a real, aggressive, often bloody, way, trampling on human rights.
The lie that was at the origin of the organization – the need to respond to an opposing entity that would only be born four years later – prevailed until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Treaty in the early 1990s. Now is the time for NATO to dissolve as there are no longer any reason to continue, argued the natives and those who still believe in the good faith of political-military discourses and the instances that produce them.
Not at all, the Atlanticists reply. Look at the enemies threatening our “civilized way of life,” Iran, Saddam Hussein, Khaddafi, North Korea, Cuba, Assad, Chavez, al-Qaida, Bin Laden, the Taliban, axes of evil crossing, intertwined, demanding the vigilant, deterrent, always defensive presence of NATO, although some were friends or even created for the good of the market and preservation of democracy. Therefore, in this war “between civilization and barbarism,” NATO can not be dissolved; but you can be certain that it will not grow an inch in territory and number of members.
It was James Baker, the US Secretary of State for George Bush Sr., who said so.
But right off, NATO was in “desert storms” invading Iraq, destroying Yugoslavia in one of the wildest modern wars, invading Afghanistan kicking off the “war on terror,” in the course of which it was to decimate Libya in alliance with the very Islamic terrorists they said they were fighting.
And that’s how the “not one inch” became many billions more; that’s how the “war on terror” has shifted into helping informal terrorist arms such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida, for example in the clandestine involvement of Atlanticism in the aggression against Syria and more recently in the endless invasion of Afghanistan – where the enemy to defeat – the Taliban – still controls two-thirds of the country.
And where we heard James Baker say no more members, we should read an actual duplication of the family of the allies, because in half a dozen years NATO swallowed most of the countries of the old Warsaw Treaty plus the states born of the former Yugoslavia, without forgetting those that were adjacent to it in the Balkans, such as Albania.
The defensive family is already in 30 members and it does not stop here, because the North Atlantic now joins the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas and also the South Atlantic. Thanks to imaginative norms of integration we have, on the way to NATO, not only the narco-terrorist state of Colombia but also Brazil, lately reconverted to fascism. Because NATO feels the urgency to defend itself against the ever threatening Cuba and, above all, the fearsome Venezuela of Maduro. So there is plenty of reason to believe in what NATO and its spokesmen say and promise. Clear as water.
The Myth of Solidarity Defense
Another of the founding myths and propaganda base of NATO is that of solidarity defense. That is, any Member State can count on the remaining members in case it is attacked by a third State or enemy organization. Everyone will come to defend him …Since the State concerned, like any other member, has previously abdicated part of its independence, their governments have submitted to the military-economic authority of the military, industrial and technological complex that governs the United States of America – and NATO, by default; and are willing to use their territory in order for NATO, that is, the United States of America, to defend themselves by attacking.
The NATO member states are, in fact, protective of the US imperial structure, which has the alliance as its armed wing: they are obliged to give up an independent defense policy, and to put large budget funds at the disposal of the Ministry of Defense of the United States, to engage in wars for reasons that are alien to, or even contrary to, maintaining hostile relations with States because US interests so require — US interests and not national interests.
Numerous studies have shown that the United States has 800 to 1,000 military bases in overseas territories. In these areas, in good faith, the host States abdicate their sovereignty, yielding it to Washington.
These studies, however, are wrong because they do not consider many of the military installations of NATO member states. These facilities ultimately serve the United States, even if technically they are not considered as US bases. Its activities are not independent or autonomous of the military strategy of NATO, i.e, of the United States. The member states of the alliance do not have truly military facilities because they do not have a defense policy defined by them in the light of the true interests of their peoples. This is why the Pentagon manages a much larger empire of world military installations than the roughly one thousand units surveyed.
In the European Union, one enters but one does not go away or, at least, not well, as we are perceiving on a daily basis in the case of the United Kingdom. Is it the same with NATO? The issue is academic, because in relation to the Atlantic Alliance we have only seen entries, not exits or attempts to exit. In the European Union there are still some sporadic referenda to decide on the relationship between the central institutions and the member states. Referendums, it is true, have been repeated when they do not give the results they should give – in the view of the Union – or they have been sabotaged. Of course, none of this happens in the Atlantic Alliance. NATO represents, at all, the will of the people, which makes any consultation superfluous. It would have been dictatorial behavior, if we did not know that NATO is the essence of democracy.
Portugal was a NATO founder with the Salazar dictatorship, and this membership continued after April 25* – which was badly wounded on November 25 with the alliance’s helpful collaboration* – and Portugal still does not question the presence, despite the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Republic.
In Portugal, regarding NATO, there is a latent constitutional conflict, from which all governments have fled as the devil flees the cross. Salazar said that “the homeland is not discussed.” And the governments of today assume that NATO is not discussed or at least not questioned. Because that is what should be done in the light of the Constitution, which determines Portugal’s involvement in the peace and dissolution of the military blocs, that is, NATO. None of this. Why do Portuguese jet fighters violate Finland’s airspace, for example? Nothing against this country, only a sequel to an aggressive presence within NATO against a nation – Russia – with which Portugal could and should have absolutely natural and normal relations, as it does with so many others.
This presence in Baltic territories, in itself, is an assault on the Constitution of the Republic. In terms of democracy, however, NATO overrides the fundamental law of the country. The position of national leaders today regarding the alliance is not very different from what Salazar was so grateful for 70 years ago: they are very grateful for the favor that NATO makes in allowing the country to be part of such a large and defensive family.
The Constitution? Forget the Constitution.
*The reference is to the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1973. Observed as a national holiday in Portugal. The November reference is to a coup and counter-coup November 1975.